A cute early example of a photobooth style photo strip. Look at this one with the wide engaging smile. And he looks younger with his hat on!
Apart from the subject, what makes this photo strip interesting is that it is dated 1915 on the back in pencil. This means this strip was taken a good eleven years before inventor Anatol Josephewitz (later Josepho) patented his machine and opened the infamous New York based automated Photomaton Studio dubbed “Broadway’s greatest quarter-snatcher”. As many as 7,000 New Yorkers a day stood in line to experience his machine, and by the end of the first year Mr. Josepho had made a swell million dollars (in yesterday’s money!) contracting his machine for expansion Ok, I’m getting sidetracked here..!
I’d like to find out why strips like this one existed before the era of the Photomaton, but info on photo strips taken prior to Josepho’s invention isn’t readily available online. This particular example is very tiny. Each photo is about 1 inch by 1 inch. I think these were proofs for larger versions to be ordered, but the portrait poses look informal, like taken at a photobooth…
June 8th, 2015 at 5:02 am
These strips were called Penny Photos and were taken by a photographer in a studio using a semi-automated system, as opposed to the fully automated Anatol Josepho Photomaton machine. A great book on the history of photo booths is Nakki Goranin’s American Photobooth.
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June 8th, 2015 at 12:07 pm
Thank you for the info! Very interesting. I’ll be sure to check out the book.
December 22nd, 2017 at 7:26 pm
[…] blogger, Caroline E. Ryan of Bowlers and High Collars, isn’t as sure of what she has and writes: “I’d like to find out why strips like this one existed before the era of the Photomaton, […]
December 24th, 2017 at 7:57 am
The more specific term for a photo strip like these in the early twentieth century was “ping pong photo”; “penny photo” was sometimes used to refer to strip photos but could also mean other things. Goranin’s book is an excellent resource for photobooth history but doesn’t go much into the history of the photo strip before self-service automation. I recently posted a general overview of the older “ping pong” genre here if you’re interested in more details and examples: https://griffonagedotcom.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/ping-pong-photos-an-introduction/
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